Federal prosecutors (called Assistant United States Attorneys or Department of Justice Trial Attorneys) want people to think that a witness before the grand jury cannot tell anyone that they have been served with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury or discuss what they testified to in the grand jury room. Usually, the subpoena or a letter accompanying the subpoena will state that you should keep the matter secret or confidential, there is no requirement that you do so. Grand jurors may not discuss the cases before them outside the grand jury room but witnesses certainly can.
If you are served with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury, you should absolutely be represented by an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney! Grand juries are inherently unfair. They are run by prosecutors whose job and goal is to secure indictments. Defense lawyers are not permitted in the grand jury and only the government case is presented. Your attorney will prep you and be outside the grand jury room for you to confidentially consult with.
Whether you are told by the prosecutor or by Federal agents that you are “only a witness”, or that you are not a “target” – only a “subject”, don’t for one minute let your guard down and make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. If you have been served with a grand jury subpoena, don’t talk with anyone – call one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers in our firm. Do not talk with the agents who serve you with the subpoena, no matter how friendly or nice they appear.